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278 years ago today: Sir Larry predicts bubble will burst

Tycoon warns South Sea Bubble can expande no more, will pop any daye now...

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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's comments in Sydney yesterday that the over-inflated valuations of Internet companies, such as Amazon.com and eBay, was a "bubble that just has to burst", brought to mind a much older tale... Shipping magnate Sir Larrimore Elision today lashed oute at Robert Harley and his South Sea Companie for both the rash promises of profitability his arch-rival has made -- and his attempts to retain control of ye world's largest shipping market. "'Tis a bubble, and 'twill burst -- mark mine words," said ye tycoon. Formed some nine years ago (1711AD), ye South Sea Companie achieved prominence through a deal with then Her Britannic Mahestie's governmente to assume ye national debt in exchange for exclusive rights to trade with ye islands of the South Seas and South America, plus a healthie annual payment. However, it is well known that Sir Larrimore also sought a similar deal but was beaten off by Harley. The twain have been bitter enemies e'r since. Sir Larrimore has made many long speeches accusing his rival of abusing his monopoly position and adopting a so-called 'sail, steal, slaughter' stratagem. "There is much fraudulente trading with ye South Sea Companie," claimed Sir Larrimore, "and -- I saye again -- ye South Sea Bubble will burst." "If I am made first Lord of ye Treausurie and Chancellor of ye Exchequer, I can and will put ye South Sea Companie on a more 'Open Trade' footing," pledged Sir Larrimore. "However, I expect that bloodie Robert Walpole felloe will get ye job." ®

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